The following are reports from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I screening that took place in Chicago on Saturday, August 21st 2010.

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Magical-Menagerie EXCLUSIVE

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be part of the audience for the first screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1. Going into the theater I had very low expectations for what the “secret screening” would be, though there was a buzz among the audience when we realized it was a Warner Brothers event, and a loud cheer and thunderous applause when it was announced that we would indeed be watching Harry, Hermione, Ron, and their camping adventures three months early.

The movie is still an unfinished product, with some half-done CGI and borrowed soundtrack (my friend, who hadn’t heard the announcement, wondered why Harry Potter was playing soundtrack from Batman), but even with these, it was hard not to get drawn into the story and the narrative. Fans definitely have plenty to look forward to when the movie comes out.

For the spoiler-averse, here’s a paragraph that doesn’t give anything away: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows does an interesting job of interspersing the dire with the day-to-day, and I believe they were able to pull this off simply by letting the characters be themselves. There were many things that it successfully brought alive from the book, although purists may not quite agree with some plot lines that were cut here or there in favor of shorter, more movie-friendly methods of story-telling. By itself it feels like a complete story, which some may worry about considering it’s only the first half of a book, and quite an enjoyable one at that, as it stays faithful to the David Yates-directed films that came before it.

Here’s where I get into spoilery detail, although I’ll confess that I may not be able to cover everything that was onscreen. Readers, consider yourselves warned.

The first scene begins with Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour giving an announcement to the media, in much the same style that Dumbledore opened the scene in the Order of the Phoenix. Not long after, we see the Death Eaters in Malfoy Manor (yes, there is an albino peacock on the grounds) and the dynamics are incredibly interesting. Snape has regained favor with Voldemort, while Lucius and his family are clearly struggling to please him. Jason Isaacs shows a lot without actually saying too much, and the torture and murder of Charity Bumbrage was disturbing, though on par with the tone of the last book.

The trio are then shown in their homes, with the Dursleys leaving Harry alone in Number 4 Privet Drive, and Hermione erasing her parents’ memories. It was something written almost as an afterthought in the book, but seeing it onscreen made it much more palpable and even almost eerie, especially when Hermione slowly faded away from all her family pictures. I don’t think Obliviate has a countercurse or a cure– this girl’s parents will never recognize nor remember her, even after Voldemort’s gone, but it was the best way she knew to keep them safe.

The Seven Harry Potters scene provided a little bit of comic relief, however briefly. We meet Bill Weasley for the first time, and if you blink you’ll miss Tonks attempting to tell Harry that she’s pregnant. We don’t get to see her at all for the rest of this film, however, which leaves me to wonder how they’ll get to that subplot eventually. Then, of course, all hell breaks loose when they attempt to fly out and the Death Eaters are immediately upon them– there is a scene where Hagrid takes his flying motorcycle onto the freeway and bumps into a few cars along the way. Harry thinks that he was given away by Hedwig flying towards him, though I think in the books it was his trademark use of Expelliarmus that did. They kept the hole-y joke between Fred and George, though.

Bill and Fleur’s wedding seems a little hurried, a little abruptly inserted, but it is nonetheless a beautiful scene (Fleur’s wedding dress was gorgeous) that takes the opportunity to set a few plot points in place. Rufus Scrimgeour drops by to execute Dumbledore’s will, Harry starts to doubt the Dumbledore that he knew courtesy of a chatty Aunt Muriel, Xenophilius Lovegood and the symbol of the Deathly Hallows are introduced, and some of the tension between Ron and Hermione begin to blossom, thanks to a dance with Viktor Krum.

It quickly turns sour thanks to news that the Ministry has fallen. Remus tells Harry to run, and in the next moment Hermione has Disapparated them away. There is a small scene of the Hogwarts Express, and Death Eaters searching it for Harry Potter. Neville Longbottom fans will love seeing him stand up to the Death Eaters the way he did: “Hey losers, Harry Potter isn’t here.”

The trio’s search for the horcruxes thus begins. In Grimmauld Place they discover the identity of RAB, the locket thief. In the Ministry of Magic they devise a daring plan to steal the locket from Dolores Umbridge, and here the audience also catches a glimpse of what the Ministry has turned into under Voldemort’s control. Ron gets Splinched in the escape, and spends the next few days recovering while Harry and Hermione attempt to figure out how to destroy the horcrux. Ron’s insecurity reaches a boiling point in a way the book may not have shown since it was told from Harry’s point of view, and he leaves after a screaming match with Harry. In his absence Harry and Hermione sulk a lot, then spend a little time dancing in a scene probably better left in the cutting room. There is a touching scene in Godric’s Hollow on Christmas Eve when Harry and Hermione find James and Lily’s grave, though their visit proves futile, when they are attacked by Nagini masquerading as Bathilda Bagshot. The mystery of Grindelwald and his connection with Dumbledore is left a little unresolved, and I’m not sure how much of Dumbledore’s history will be revealed at all in the next movie.

Ron’s return is just as the book had described, if not a little bit more. He dives in after Harry who, in all his infinite wisdom, decides to swim into a frozen river to retrieve the sword of Gryffindor. The locket opens upon Harry’s Parseltongued request, and Ron is faced with his demons, a large billowing cloud of dark smoke that takes the shape of Harry and Hermione in a heated kiss. (Yes, it’s definitely heated. I’m not sure if there are plans to CGI clothes on. I hope so.) But Ron prevails, as we know he will.

With the trio reunited, their travels take them to the Lovegoods’ house, where the story of the three brothers and the Deathly Hallows is narrated in intriguing 2D animation– a scene that, while beautifully done on its own, stylistically feels a little out of sync with the rest of the movie. They’re captured not long after by Snatchers, and with Harry’s face bloated from a stinging spell they have a hard time confirming his identity before he’s brought to Voldemort. I found this part difficult to believe in the book, and it remains a hard sell in the movie. Draco’s reluctance to help his aunt identify Harry Potter, and Lucius’ desperation to please Voldemort, set the Malfoy family up quite nicely for part two, I think.

The scene in the Malfoy Manor dungeons is perhaps one of the movie’s darkest. Helena Bonham-Carter’s casting as Bellatrix remains one of my favorites, and she doesn’t fail to chill viewers with her torture of Hermione. At the end of it, Bellatrix has cut the word ‘mudblood’ into her arm.

Dobby, who’s so far been the clear audience favorite, helps orchestrate an escape out of Malfoy Manor. There are cheers when he gives a rousing speech about being a free elf, and a few wet cheeks when Bella’s dagger catches him in the chest just before Dobby Disapparates everyone out. By a bright and sunny beach, “a nice place to be with friends,” Dobby breathes his last.

The movie ends in a dark forest, somewhere in Hogwarts grounds, where Dumbledore’s tomb lays. Voldemort, in his own quest for a wand that can defeat Harry Potter’s, takes the Elder wand away from Dumbledore, setting the stage perfectly for the second part of the movie, which will be released in July 2011.

And here I thought waiting for November would be hard enough.


source for second report

  • The movie wasn’t completely finished yet. You saw green screen in some parts & the effects aren’t done. The music wasn’t real either.
  • One of my fave scenes? Harry cheering up Hermione by dancing with her in the tent. (Was that in the book?)
  • I saw more of Voldemort in this movie than ever.
  • When Harry opened the locket horcrux, that was disturbing. Especially for Ron who had to kill it. It was like a Harry/Hermione shipper dream
  • Dobby’s death? I sobbed like a baby. D’: Every scene Dobby was in, the audience clapped. Never realized how much he was loved.
  • Ron & Harry’s fight was hard to watch. Poor Hermoine was devastated. But you could see how worn out Ron was. You couldn’t blame him.
  • Bellatrix is nuts as always. Totally cringed when she was torturing Hermione. (But Helena Bonham Carter is just too good)

Because it was a test screening, the movie was unfinished. At different parts, you see the green screen, ropes pulling Harry, animations during action scenes. Even the soundtrack was temporary. But for all of these “imperfections,” this film felt very perfect. I don’t remember feeling this satisfied with a Harry Potter movie since Chamber of Secrets. By this, I mean that the experience of seeing this movie almost exactly mirrored my experience reading the book all those three years ago.

The opening scene starts out with us looking into the eyes of the new Minister of Magic. We segue into seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione in each of their homes. The Dursleys hastily pack up their possessions to leave 4 Privet Dr. Hermione erases herself from her parents’ memory. I found it very unsettling as we watch her disappear from all her family pictures.

The next scene is Voldemort’s meeting with his Death Eaters. I’m unsure if it’s just me, but I’ve never seen Voldemort talk so much. The movie progresses just like the book. The scene in which everyone drinks Polyjuice Potion and turns into Harry is very amusing. In contrast, the following scene is wrought with adventure and sadness as we realize which beloved characters that were lost.

As for Harry and Ginny’s kiss, I was annoyed how Harry’s head was blocking it most of the time. Also, it was nice to finally meet Bill Weasley! His and Fleur’s wedding was a lovely event, until it was attacked. Now that Harry, Hermione, and Ron have gone on their own, you begin to understand just how dangerous it really is for them. The disguised visit to the Ministry of Magic was full of tension. I could not help but feel nervous for the trio. After successfully stealing the locket from Dolores Umbridge, the trio is left to camp in the wilderness. The evil power of locket and the stress of their mission weigh down on them. I never saw Ron look so burnt out. While reading the books, I was angry that he could just abandon them. However, seeing it visually made me sympathize with him.

There was a very cute scene added where Harry tries to cheer up a depressed Hermione by dancing with her. Although I don’t think it was in the book, it seemed like the audience found it endearing.

The visit to Godric’s Hollow was both sad and scary. It was very emotional to see Harry visit his parents’ graves. As well, seeing Batty turn into snake was horrifying. It will probably be even scarier in 3D. Another strange scene was when Ron had to destroy the locket horcrux. Once it was opened, the locket projected visually all his fears. One of these fears was a topless Harry and Hermione kissing passionately. But eventually, Ron destroys it.

A “Twilight” reference was made when Hermione begins to read “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” The scene sort of went like this (Not exact words):

Hermione: “One day long ago, three brothers decided to go out traveling the world together. At twilight…”

Ron: “It’s midnight. My mum always says midnight.”

Hermione gives Ron an angry look. Ron instantly backs off.

Ron: “Oh, no, you’re right. Twilight is good. Twilight is better.”

I really loved the animation that depicted the tale, while Hermione was narrating. I liked the way it looked, and it helped show everything clearly.

When the trio is captured and taken hostage. You finally get some quality Death Eater scenes. You see Lucius Malfoy’s desperation, Draco’s struggles with indecision, and the nut case that is Bellatrix Lestrange. Hearing Hermione’s screams while Bellatrix tortures her was enough to make me cringe. It was a complete relief when Dobby appeared to save them. Dobby was definitely the audience favorite. When he first appeared on screen, the audience clapped. Actually, they clapped on all the scenes he appeared in. Hence, it was devastating when we realize that Bellatrix had managed to kill Dobby. It only made me cry more when Harry wanted to give him a proper burial. At this point, it’s the end, and we see Voldemort break into Dumbledore’s tomb and steal the Elder Wand. The last thing we see is Voldemort firing a lightning bolt into the sky with the Elder Wand.

I cannot wait to see this movie again. It’s going to be spectacular and even more perfect. To believe that this is just Part 1 is crazy. To just imagine Part 2 is too much because if it is like anything like this (which it probably is), it will be even more perfect.


First off, this is the most perfect Harry Potter film ever. The movie on a whole is amazing and dark. Everyone was on top of their game. Everything was perfect. Dobby’s death was done perfectly. You could see the emotion in Harry and the gang. We saw green screens of course (because the film’s digital effects were not yet complete), but it didn’t affect me at all. The audience LOVED Dobby. Everyone was clapping when we saw him.

The Ron and Harry fight was so well done. The score sadly was not real – that’s the only thing I hated really. Voldemort was in the movie a LOT, but I didn’t care – that’s what made it so real for me. Him and Snape on screen together was amazing. This IS the movie we have been waiting for.

The Seven Potters scene was so well done. The part I loved the most was the Ministry of Magic scenes. This film will get a hard PG13 rating by far. The Horcrux scene was so well done. All the performances were so well done. I can’t wait to see Part Two. Everyone but their heart into this. There is one scene I particularly liked when Harry tried to cheer Hermione up. So cute.

One last thing: The wedding was so great. Kingsley’s message was so dark and powerful that you knew things were about to go down.



1. Is Rita Skeeter in it much, and in what scenes in particular? Well, you don’t really see her. It’s more of a voice over when harry is reading a newspaper report at the Dursleys at the beguiling.

2. Do we see McGonagall or any of the other teachers at Hogwarts? no Mcgonagall. Only teacher i remember seeing was Snape.

3. Does Aunt Petunia get much to do and do the ‘look’ from the book? Well Aunt Petunia was only in it for about 5 minutes. No, she doesn’t do ‘the look’ although she was really annoying like she was in the others.

4. What does Snape do in the movie? Snape gives Voldemort information about the 7 potters, he was at Malfoy Manor for a few meetings, and he lets Voldemort into Hogwarts.

A summary of the sequences from Xeno Lovegood’s house to Shell Cottage: They were trying to get out of the Lovegoods house, however death eaters saw them and they were chased into a forest. There was a bit of a fight however they were caught. They were taken to Malfoy Manor, thrown into a dungeon, we saw that Luna, Ollivander and Griphook were there, Wormtail them went to get Hermione out, Bellatrix started [Crucio’ing] her, scraping a knife down her face and using a whip on her. Dobby them showed up, took lLuna, Ollivander and Griphook with him, Wormail then came to get Ron, however Harry convinced him that he owed him, Wormtail went to kill himself when Dobby came back, Dobby threw a spell at him, he bounced back against the wall so he didn’t die. Harry, Ron and Dobby ran out, there was a big fight, saved Hermione, Bellatrix killed Dobby, but he had time to get back to Shell Cottage before he died so he saved them.

On Harry and Ginny’s kiss at the Burrow: Well before the wedding, they were going to kiss but George came into the room and distracted them so yea they didn’t kiss. Bonnie’s acting has improved just a little bit.

How is Umbridge? Umbridge was better in this one than the other one. She is so [vile].

On Scrimgeour: Yea, he was good. He kinder sent chills down my spine.

Do the trio get attacked by dementors while they are camping? yes, however harry uses Expecto Patronum, they go away, and the trio quickly pack up and move.

Do they show griphook get taken in the forest while they are camping? yes.

Do the trio skirmish in the Ministry of Magic scene with Umridge and company? yes.

What scenes do they show of Voldemort looking for the wand? Well in almost every scene he is in (there are like 6) he mentions it, but only in the last 2 Snape lets him into Hogwarts and he gets it.

Do the trio ever hear about Ginny, Neville, and Luna trying to take the sword from the heads office? If so where do they hear it, on the radio, or somewhere else? they hear it on Potterwatch.

On Dobby’s death: Dobby’s death was really sad. Everyone in the theater was crying.

– Well when Ron leaves, Hermione tries to convince him to stay, she cries, they dance at the wedding but thats really it. Only part about a piano that I remember was at Sirius’s house, Hermione sat at a old piano, Ron sat next to her and she just hit a few keys while Harry looked around.

Good, so they included the Potterwatch scene? yes

If they showed Griphook in the forest, do they also show Dean Thomas as well? I’m assuming not, unfortunately… no Dean.

Was there a lot of the Weasley twins? Did they include Snape cursing George’s ear off?
Well, there was a lot of them during the wedding and the 7 Potters but apart from that, no.

Did they include Dudley’s slight change of heart?
if you mean saying that he cares about harry, then yes.

Did you find Malfoy Manor to be disturbing? I’m assuming that, since there knives and whips involved, that it actually was as gruesome as they claimed it would be… How was Ron in this scene?
yes it was kinda disturbing, there was blood everywhere. ron was breaking down.

– Only part Draco and Harry see each other are at Malfoy Manor. And yes, he pretends not to recognise him.

– The snake attack was pretty gross as well. You see Bathilda’s guts.

What does the guy on the train tracks do? Does he kidnap Luna? he stops the train. other death eaters then flew in and took her.



On August 21, 2010, a test screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I was held in Chicago. MuggleNet staff members Emerson Spartz and Eric Scull attended the screening. Below are some quick bullet points on what fans can expect this November.

  • The film is roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The music used in the screening will not be in the final cut.
  • Bill Nighy is great as Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour; the film opens with him addressing the media.
  • Hermione uses a memory charm on her parents at the beginning of the film. The big building we see her walking towards in the trailer is just a church in her neighborhood.
  • Watching Snape and Voldemort together is amazing on screen. You see them just before Charity Burbage is killed.
  • Lucius Malfoy’s character is paid attention to; what’s going on with his family is very well-established leading into Part 2.
  • George loses an ear during the Seven Potters chase scene and the screenwriter kept the “holey” joke between him and Fred in the film.
  • The Death Eater who stops the Hogwarts Express in the trailer is looking for Harry Potter. He meets resistance from Neville and other students that are aboard.
  • The Hogwarts grounds do not appear in the film until Voldemort opens Dumbledore’s tomb.
  • The Last Will and Testament of Albus Dumbledore has a much faster payoff than in the book.
  • Harry is not disguised as a Weasley cousin at the wedding.
  • Aunt Muriel makes Harry feel terrible because of what he doesn’t know about Dumbledore.
  • Viktor Krum and Madam Maxime make appearances at Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
  • The scene where Kingsley’s patronus arrives at the wedding to announce the Ministry has fallen is chilling.
  • Harry has Sirius’ mirror. How did he get it?
  • Similar to the book there is a ghostly version of Dumbledore guarding Grimmauld Place.
  • Kreacher clearly obeys Harry in this film, but there is no flashback showing Regulus and Kreacher obtaining the locket.
  • The casting of Mundungus Fletcher was well done and his usage is appropriate.
  • A young Dumbledore and Grindelwald appear together in a photo. Harry is forced to investigate this throughtout the course of the film as he recognizes Grindelwald’s face from somewhere.
  • They did not cast Dumbledore’s family for Part I.
  • The locations for the camp scenes while the Trio are on the run are very beautiful and scenic, making them not as dull as would be expected.
  • The Godric’s Hollow scene where Harry visits his parents grave with Hermione is very moving. Hermione conjures a wreath for the Potters’ grave.
  • The Tale of the Three Brothers is a fictional story within a fictional story in the books. So when dealing with the movie they could have casted it with real characters. Instead they did a very cool animated sequence as Hermione tells the story.
  • Xenophilius Lovegood is very well cast and says “Voldemort” to alert the Snatchers to the Trio’s location.
  • Hermione’s torture really brings out a side of Bellatrix, an aspect of her character that we haven’t seen before. What drives her to torture Hermione is both interesting and exciting on film. When Hermione awakens from being tortured she notices the word “mudblood” carved into her arm.
  • Peter Pettigrew doesn’t die, he is stunned by Dobby during the big escape from Malfoy Manor. Luna, Ollivander and Griphook are all captive in the manor with Harry and Ron.
  • Dobby’s death is very emotional.
  • The film ends with Voldemort opening Dumbledore’s tomb and stealing the Elder Wand. We see the scene from the trailer of him shooting magic high into the air and the screen goes black.

The Leaky Cauldron


  • Director David Yates, and Producers David Heyman and David Barron were in attendance at the screening.
  • The current running time for this rough cut was about two and a half hours.
  • Some select graphics and CGI enhancements were not fully complete in this screening.  Some moments were only rendering.
  • Green screens, cranes, and other movie props appeared in places.
  • The film contained a temporary soundtrack; the full soundtrack is still being composed and recorded.
  • A unique and innovative animation tells the story of the Deathly Hallows.
  • David Barron confirmed that the final split for the film will indeed be when Lord Voldemort takes the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s grave.
  • The crew has not yet finalize their choice of composer for the second part of “Deathly Hallows.”
  • The Seven Potter sequence features Mr. Radcliffe changing, character by character, as the camera pans around the room.  He is left in the original clothes of the character, and with their voice.
  • The film opens on the Minister of Magic speaking to the press, promising the wizarding public safety and protection of their liberties.
  • This leads into the Dursley’s leaving their home, and Harry being left in the empty Privet Drive house with Hedwig.
  • Hedwig does die, returning to the chase sequence to defend Harry from Voldemort.
  • The title card did not contain and “Part One” distinction.
  • Both Kreacher and Dobby do make an appearance in the film.
  • The Death Eater meeting is featured, an unshaven Lucius Malfoy shakes below Voldemort’s gaze.
  • A series of flashbacks and memories are used to tell both the select back story of the Hallows and Horcruxes.  Dumbledore, Slughorn, and more were featured in this telling.
  • The Death Eater chase ranges from highway action with other cars, featuring Hagrid and Harry on the motorbike doing a loop around the ceiling of a tunnel.
  • Hermione is shown to obliviate her parents, and make out her way out of the house.  When she casts the spell, photos on the wall are shown to
  • Hermione is tortured by Bellatrix at Malfoy Manor, after they are captured by the Snatchers.  Quite graphic and jarring.
  • Umbridge returns.  Part of the new Death Eater Ministry which takes over.
  • Death Eaters crash the wedding.
  • A new stone statue in the Ministry is created, wizards behind held up by a twisted jumble of muggles.
  • Madam Maxine is featured at the wedding as well.
  • Ron’s turn against Harry and Hermione builds throughout the first half, his leaving is very dramatic.
  • Ministry of Magic is turned into a propaganda factory, with posters, pamphlets, and other anti-Muggle propaganda.
  • Harry and Hermione dance to Nick Cave’s “The Children.”
  • Dobby makes a fun, funny, and heartwarming return.  Humorous interaction with Kreacher.
  • The Trio are found by the Death Eaters when Xeno says “Voldemort,” a tabooed word.
  • When Ron is destroying the Horcrux, Harry and Hermione appear as silver porcelain figures, taunting Ron.  The engage in a very sensual kiss, which ignites Ron into destroying the Horcrux.
  • Dementors float above the courtroom where Umbrdige interviews.
  • The enchantments Hermione puts around the test when Snatchers come up to their camp.
  • The memorial to the Potters does not appear when Harry and Hermione go to Godric’s Hollow.
  • Nagini comes from the mouth of Bagshot.  The fight crashes into the children’s room of the house next door.
  • In the Silver Doe scene, Harry breaks his way though the ice to retrieve the sword.  When he gets close, the locket around his neck chokes him and drags him under the ice.
  • When Harry opens the locket, a Voldemort Horcrux tornado appears from the locket, speaking to Ron, and unleashing spiders onto the ground before Ron.
  • Wormtail lives after Dobby stuns him to free Ron and Harry from the cellar of Malfoy Manor.
  • The film ends with Voldemort going to a small island where Dumbledore’s tomb is set; he cracks open the white marble, stares into the blank face of Dumbledore, and takes his wand.

ComingSoon report from Kyle


I was lucky enough to get invited to a secret test screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I at the AMC River East in Chicago this afternoon. We weren’t told what movie we would be seeing until seconds before it started, but my friends and I suspected that it may be Harry Potter due to the Warner Bros signs and the intense security. When producer David Heyman walked in, I was pretty sure what it would be. Director David Yates was also in attendance, and spent some time talking with fans outside the theatre after the film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is a great continuation of the series, thematically and visually in line with films 5 and 6. Though it is a fast-paced film, with several nice setpieces and much-improved performances from the young cast, it does suffer from two major problems. First, it faithfully adapts the seventh book, including the book’s own problems. The “camping in the wilderness” scenes become quite repetitive, and the attempts at drama/angst amongst the trio during these scenes comes off as tired. Also, the scenes involving the locket horcrux causing its wearer to be angry/aggressive are far too reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. All three young stars acquit themselves admirably, however, doing the best they can with the material. Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, in particular, are quite good. The second problem with the film, and this may be fixed by the time the final cut is released, is the editing. Some scenes feel utterly rushed and incoherent (Godric’s Hollow, for example). Others go on for far too long (Ron becomes jealous, etc.). There are several flashes / dream sequences that demonstrate Voldemort’s search for the Elder Wand. These are bizarrely edited and poorly executed. Luckily, they are just a small fraction of the film.

Despite these issues, this was a quality film on par with films 5 and 6, both of which I quite enjoyed. As with those films, the cinematography is beautiful. There are several creative and dramatic shots throughout the film, so that even if one gets bored, you could just stare in awe at the scenery. The beginning of the film is also quite exciting, including some hilarious scenes with multiple “Harry”s, and a series of great action sequences. The visual effects were not completely finished in these sequences, but I imagine it was quite close to what the final version will be. Another effective sequence involves the trio escaping to a small cafe in London, and a resulting fight that involves wands and spells but feels more like a shootout.

The film ends at a very appropriate spot, and though not exactly a “cliffhanger”, left me greatly anticipating Part II.

At the end of the film, we all filled out lengthy questionnaires regarding our opinion of the film overall (I gave it 4/5), as well as our likes/dislikes with the performances, scenes, and other aspects.

Though I will reserve final judgement until after seeing Part II, this is overall an effective and exciting, if not perfect, continuation of the series that struggles with some of the same problems as the final book, but mostly overcomes them through excellent technical aspects and performances.